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Self Help

  • Domestic Violence and Emergency Orders (Ex Parte) in Family Law Case: Parties can receive assistance on matters related to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders at the Spinetta Family Law Center in Martinez and at the Pittsburg and Richmond Courthouses between the hours of 8 am and 3 pm.
  • The Small Claims Advisor holds "Introduction to Small Claims" workshops in Martinez, Pittsburg and Richmond. The Advisor will also respond to e-mailed questions within 1 – 2 weeks: smallclaims@contracosta.courts.ca.gov
  • The Probate Facilitator is available to assist self-represented parties in guardianship of the person cases. This Facilitator holds guardianship workshops in Martinez, Pittsburg and Richmond. To reach the Probate Facilitator: e-mail: probfac@contracosta.courts.ca.gov or telephone (925) 608-2066
  • The Court also partners with other government and non-profit agencies to provide workshop assistance to self-represented parties in the following case types: unlawful detainer (eviction), domestic violence and conservatorships. Click Here for Information on Workshops

General Information

The Family Law Facilitator’s offices offer assistance with the completion of legal forms and provides procedural guidance in most areas of Family Law, including: child support, spousal support, child custody, visitation, dissolution, legal separation, nullity, establishment of paternity, ex parte (emergency) and domestic violence restraining orders.

At this time, no assistance is available for civil harassment restraining orders, contempt proceedings, qualified domestic relations orders for other than child support, adoptions, minor emancipations, or Code of Civil Procedure 170.6 - external link.

Scope of Facilitator Services

The Family Law Facilitators are attorneys employed by the Court to help parties that do not have attorneys with some procedural matters (see chart below)

The Family Law Facilitators CAN The Family Law Facilitators CANNOT*
Help file papers to modify child support, set payment on arrears and release your license if you have a case with the Department of Child Support Services Help with ADOPTIONS, GUARDIANSHIPS, TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS, GRANDPARENT OR STEPPARENT VISITATION OR JUVENILE court cases
Provide referrals to lawyer referral services, legal aid and the Department of Child Support Services Help you prepare for SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE, CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE or TRIAL
Help file papers to get child care costs, health insurance and uninsured medical costs in your Department of Child Support Services case Help with NAME CHANGE, CIVIL or CRIMINAL cases (including bankruptcy and foreclosure issues)
Refer you to a workshop for assistance in child custody and visitation matters Provide TAX ADVICE
Refer you to a workshop where you can get help with finishing your divorce or legal separation case Help with DISCOVERY, SUBPOENAS, DEPOSITIONS, WRITS OF EXECUTION, LEVIES, LIENS or CONTEMPT
Refer you to a workshop where you can get help with your paternity case Help you file an APPEAL, MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION, MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL, MOTION TO VACATE JUDGMENT
Refer you to a workshop if you need help filing papers for spousal support Help with PENSION, COMPLEX PROPERTY or COMPLEX SUPPORT issues

* Please note there may be additional issues the Facilitators cannot assist with that are not listed above.

Facilitators are available for 10-15 minute discussions during their drop-in hours (see schedule below). One on one appointments to finalize divorce judgments can be made with Facilitators during drop-in hours.

After completing the online "Start Your Divorce" workshop, parties can print out a ticket for an appointment to have a Facilitator review their completed forms.

Drop-In Hours and Locations

Location Hours
Spinetta Family Law Center Monday - Thursday, 8am - 2pm
Martinez Department of Child Support Services 50 Douglas Drive
Monday through Friday
8am - 3pm (open DCSS cases only)
Confirm that the office is open by calling: (925) 957-7355 or check online at: https://facebook.com/CCCDCSS
Pittsburg Superior Court, Richard E. Arnason Justice Center Monday, 8am - 12pm (noon)
Wednesday, 1pm - 3:30pm
Thursday, 8am - 12pm (noon)
Richmond Superior Court, George D. Carroll Courthouse Tuesday and Friday, 8am - 3:30pm
(Closed for lunch from 12pm - 1pm)

Please bring:

  • All of your court papers
  • Proof of income for the last two months
  • Your most recent W-2 forms

Please note:

  • Arrive as early as possible and be prepared to wait
  • Appointments are limited, so you may not be seen if you do not arrive early
  • The Family Law Facilitator (FLF) is not your lawyer and cannot represent you personally or provide legal advice on how to win your case
  • You cannot use this service if you are currently represented by an attorney in your family law case
  • This is not a confidential service and the FLF may work with both sides in a case
  • Daycare is only available in the Pittsburg location and is on a first-come, first-served basis.